Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs May 10, 2016
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No.
2014-C-2329 Mark J. Fishburn, Judge
Davidson County Criminal Court Jury convicted the Appellant,
Tazarius Jay Vond Leach, of two counts of aggravated robbery
and one count of carjacking. The trial court imposed a total
effective sentence of fifteen years. On appeal, the Appellant
argues that the State's providing "a hypothetical
using the facts of the case" to explain criminal
responsibility during voir dire violated his right to a fair
trial and impartial jury. Upon review, we affirm the
judgments of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal
McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Robert W. Wedemeyer and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.
Hammond and Nick McGregor, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
Appellant, Tazarius Jay Vond Leach.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Nicholas W. Spangler, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn R.
Funk, District Attorney General; and Brian Ewald and Leandra
Varney, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the
Appellee, State of Tennessee.
MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE
Davidson County Grand Jury indicted the Appellant and Devante
Travis Brooks a.k.a. Devonte Brooks for the aggravated
robbery of Keith Beard, the aggravated robbery of Bridgette
Lofton,  and carjacking. The offenses occurred at
the Hickory Trace Apartments complex, which was located
behind Hickory Hollow Mall in Antioch.
light most favorable to the State, the proof adduced at trial
revealed that on February 20, 2014, Beard and Lofton went to
the apartment complex to see the new apartment of Beard's
co-worker, "Shawn." They arrived at the complex
between 7:15 and 7:45 p.m. and parked near the entrance
because they did not know the exact location of Shawn's
apartment. Beard got out of the car and exchanged text
messages with Shawn. He advised Shawn of their arrival, and
Shawn asked which car Beard had driven. Beard responded that
he had driven his Monte Carlo, and Shawn replied that he was
on his way to meet them. Beard and Lofton waited for ten or
fifteen minutes, but Shawn never arrived and did not answer
Beard's telephone calls.
Beard and Lofton were waiting, the Appellant, in a white
Impala, drove into the parking space on the driver's side
of the Monte Carlo and parked. Approximately five minutes
after the Impala arrived, Beard walked to the driver's
door of the Monte Carlo to get back into the car. At that
time, Brooks got out of the front passenger side of the
Impala, pointed a black handgun at Beard, and said,
"'Give me everything you got in your pockets.
Whatever you got, give it to me.'" Beard put his
hands up, begged Brooks not to shoot him, and stated that he
did not have anything. Beard noticed that the Appellant, who
was in the driver's seat of the Impala, appeared to be
watching. Brooks took Beard's cellular telephone and
wallet containing ninety dollars in cash.
Brooks took the items, the Appellant got out of the Impala.
Brooks asked who was in the Monte Carlo, and Beard responded
that the passenger was his fiancé. Brooks pointed the
gun at Beard and made him walk to the passenger side of the
Monte Carlo and open Lofton's door. The Appellant
searched the inside of the car, "frisked" Lofton,
and took her cellular telephone and wallet. Meanwhile, Brooks
told Beard to stop looking at him because he did not want
Beard to be able to identify him. After the car was searched,
the men told Lofton to get out of the car, and she complied.
Brooks got into the driver's seat of the Monte Carlo and
drove away. The Appellant followed in the Impala. Brooks shot
at the victims as he drove from the scene.
the robbery, Beard and Lofton ran to the movie theater at the
mall and called the police. Metro Nashville Police (Metro)
Officer William Durham arrived within ten or fifteen minutes
and took the victims back to the ...